There is a Buddhist fable I read sometime ago about a bull who loved his master for taking good care of him. He wanted to return the favor to his master, so he asked him to go and wager on him. The bull had been loved and well-fed since childhood. Being strong, he thought that if he could repay the love by showing his toughness and helping the master win a big prize, he would be showing his gratitude for the care he had been given. The master liked the idea and took the bull to the market to exhibit his strength. The bull was expected to move hundred loaded carts. As the contest began, the master grew panicky and hurled abuse on the bull. The bull was stunned and his energy sapped. Failing to do what he promised, the twosome returned home, the master fuming and fretting. When the master questioned the bull as to why he had landed him in trouble, the bull replied, ” I thought you loved me. But your abusive words killed my spirit and I was heartbroken.” The master felt sorry for what he had said. The bull then asked his master to wager on him again with double the money and that this time he would not fail him. The master did what he was told, and with the master’s encouragement and love, the bull won the prize. Such was the power of kindness and love.
Today, when I read articles from different sections of society, or even in my day-to-day conversations with friends, I feel that criticism and displeasure have become rampant. There are many who disparage India because things are not happening the way they should, because values are lost, because people have become rudderless. Media is feeding these feelings to a large extent with news that show the sorry state of affairs. I also read an extremely depressing article on Huffington Post where an Indian woman wrote that we should leave India alone. All this makes me sad and I am reminded of the story I started the post with. It is easy to criticize, to belittle, to humiliate. But it is very difficult to appreciate and value the goodness around us. Leave alone the courage it takes to bring about the change one so fervently wants.
Why is it so difficult to praise? Is it that we humans are so enveloped by a false sense of self-pride and misplaced egoism that we view others as inferior and when we fulminate against those who err, we find pleasure in our own superiority? Is it difficult to praise because it requires a relinquishing of our own self in order to put the other self on a higher pedestal? Are we more prone to gossip than celebration?
While there is a surge of denunciation going on, there are a few who are singing songs of commendation. There are a few who are applauding the good deeds of those who through their modest yet consistent efforts are bringing changes in our society. The Better India, Pari (People’s Archive of Rural India), the Logical Indian and an umpteen number of bloggers are creating ripples of positive energy by giving recognition to voices of change, upliftment and betterment. They are like those roses that bloom along with thorns. They are like those lotuses that blossom above the muddy surfaces. They are not the complaining types. Rather, they are those who are willing to bring change. They are the indispensable backbones of constructive and productive efforts. They teach us a lot, provided we are willing to learn.
Let us celebrate the goodness around us.
“Bread cast on the waters comes back to you. The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love at the least expected time. If you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a better place.”
So remember to do good. If you cannot do good, at least appreciate the good deeds others are doing. Do not waste your time and energy on the negativities of life. Start focusing on the positive side. Slowly, the world will change. It is all about looking at the bright side of life. Leave scorns and frowns aside. Live with hope, live with smiles.